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Goldman Sachs 6, America 5, Florida 4, New York 2, Barack Obama 2, Washington 2, Us 2, Michele Bachmann 2, Amazon 1, New Orleans 1, Twe 1, U.s. 1, Bloomington 1, California 1, Princeton 1, Katrina 1, Batty 1, Summa Cum Laude 1, Lampoon 1, The Nation 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    January 21, 2013
    10:00 - 10:30pm PST  

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that is okay, but if you give more than that, that judge cannot hear your case. if you are, let's say, the campaign manager for a judge -- because we have elections -- if anybody's interested -- let me just finish that. if you are a campaign manager, he cannot appear before that judge. the aba spent two years on a report called justice in jeopardy, which is online, and it talks about how judges are elected in every single state. one of the document you might be interested in because i understand you have had vigorous talks about this recently is immigration. the aba just issued several months ago the most comprehensive immigration reform report in the last two decades. it contains 10,000 pro bono lawyer hours of some of the best law firms in america. part of the frustration that exists regarding immigration --
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and i was just at a white house meeting monday and tuesday of this week on this issue -- it relates to the anchor -- the anger people have saying that is broken and we cannot fix it and there's nothing we can do. that is wrong. we have an ability to fix the problem. we should fix the problem. the aba rendered a report that it will continue to act as a resource in fixing the problem. these are things they have online if you are interested. suddenly, you could visit our website feared by the way, if we do not get to your question, i will see you out back. happy to talk to you about anything you want to talk about. >> we should all remember that most of us are at least descendants of immigrants. one thing about justice in a
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different sense -- i have a question here that says that some constitutions -- and they mention the cuban one -- include health and literacy as basic rights. should we think of those as basic rights? you will certainly realize that at least as to help, that is one of the key problems going on in the present debt ceiling controversy in washington. >> my favorite book just recently, and i tell you it is $9.95 on amazon, is president kennedy's book called "nation of immigrants." it was written in the early 1960's. it will take you a couple of hours to read it again. it is a fabulous book and makes you realize that nothing has changed in the last 50 years. he talks about why we are a
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nation of immigrants and why that has been the strength of america. so, yes, we are all a nation of immigrants. we should remember that in these debates. but florida has an interesting process, something the all states should adopt, but every 20 years, a group of 30 citizens are awarded by the governor, the speaker of the house, the senate, supreme court, to rewrite florida's constitution, every line of it. it does not go to the legislature. all those pesky lobbyists out there do not get a chance to lobby one way or the other. goes right to the citizens of the state. took us two years to do that. we look at these issues. in florida's constitution, a quality education is now in the florida constitution. i do believe that in america, particularly, everyone is entitled to a quality education.
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and most certainly in this country, people should not go to bed hungry. that is just unacceptable. the way that the misery index in this country is one that is way out of the line because of the recent economic situation. i do not think that we as a country even understand how the unemployment has affected so many families, and we have a whole new strata called the new league for, people who were driving forces yesterday and in bread lines today -- who were driving portias -- driving porsches yesterday and in redlines today. we need to make sure americans had the opportunity to have
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reasonable health care. not excessive. the fact is we've got to make sure that what happened in past -- and we know that. a lot of costs have spiraled out of control. we have to have a baseline. this country has promised that in a sense of being a land of opportunity for all its people. the resources that we have in this country are such that we have to make sure that the least among us are protected. so i hope that one day we will see that happen. >> thank you very much. our thanks to steven zack, president of the american bar association. we also thank our audience is here and on radio television and
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the internet. tonight's program has been part of the commonwealth club's u.s. constitution in the 21st century series, underwritten by the charles guess he family, and we thank them, and we thank you. [applause]
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>> good evening. welcome to tonight's meeting of the commonwealth club of california. i am your moderator for today's program. it is my distinct pleasure to introduce today's special guest. rush limbaugh. [laughter] hang on. i agree with rush that katrina is a force of nature oherself. none of the destructive capabilities, but a great deal of power. she brings a driving passion into her work. the flame has gotten brighter of late.
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we will talk about the progress of perspective -- progressive perspective. little seems to have become toxic and passe -- liberal seems to have become toxic and passe at the same time. a few years ago, the proposition we have to defend was "good riddance to mainstream media." we each had an interest in this. katrina made our case forcefully. she did it without a hint of an edge or snarky humor or even questionable taste. twe won and were not shy about
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celebrating. we were exuberant celebrators. the sense of grace combined with her intensity and style. in a world of kardashians and other circus acts in the media, she is a giant gusts of intelligence and class. it makes me feel old to say this, but i know her mom, and equally fascinating woman, a great writer. her grandfather founded the music corporation of america that defined culture and music today. having said that about her mother, i feel i should balance that by saying i cannot count on my fingers and toes together all of the otherwise party
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intellectuals and regular people who have confided [unintelligible] [laughter] i am wondering. she is the editor and publisher of "the nation." she is summa cum laude from princeton. she is here with her first collection, "fighting for progress in the age of obama." i do not always agree with her personally when it comes to politics. we are here to find out from katrina how we're going to save the world with barack obama. let's start there. [laughter] >> i do not know how you learned by worked at national lampoon. saving the world.
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let me begin by saying how low they must be to go that low in new orleans. i would not put in the same sentence president obama and saving the world. it is very much about movements and the power in our history to bring about a fundamental change. you do need people inside, political leaders inside. it captures the imagination of the nation. through the turbulent history,
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it has been movement and the power of movements. franklin roosevelt was moved by later movements. lyndon johnson had the civil rights movement. i think we begin with that. this book comes out at a moment when the country sees the power and possibility of occupy, 99%, and how that has shifted. it is still evolving. it has shifted the center of political gravity of our dialogue. the issue has been off the radar for so long. >> roosevelt surfed and harnessed those movements. he used them to get legislation
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passed to initiate programs. obama is still getting on his wet suit. to read the essay she wrote in 2008, there was a sense of exhibits -- exuberance. you say that hope is not optimism that expects things to turn out well. it seems like he confused those two things. >> i will come back to what i write about in the book. the expectations were so great and high. go back to 2008. the back to the election and year when we are fortunate region were fortunate enough to be living with debates that were not cruel reality shows. every week, there were debates among the democratic candidates. barack obama embodied change.
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it seemed he brought into politics a generation of young people and minorities who never thought of the electoral system as a vehicle for change. so many people saw in him the possibility of change that would come quickly. my sense is that it is so corroded that we need to take back a government that has been rigged against working people, ordinary people, the poor. we need to understand it will take more than one election cycle to bring about fundamental change in this country. it will take wind at the back of the president and
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political system to bring about change. president obama -- this is not a political time when roosevelt lived in. the labor movements are not as strong. today there was a story about the tea party move -- losing its mojo. we're seeing overreach that has led people to this tipping point moment where millions of people have said enough. the obscene inequality in this country colliding with downward mobility that people feel in their gut, they see it among their family and friends. that has led to this moment where there is the possibility of space. organizers can move into it. we could see some real change. it will not come about through just one leader.
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>> it helps to have a leader who is effective. >> in traveling with the book, i am reminded about what candidate obamas said when he said i am a were shocked -- rorshack. people bring to him their views of the country, their anger and pain. feel he has done what he could in a system where you have a republican party that was determined to take him down. they did not want to govern with him. my sense is that he wanted to bring a different kind of politics to the country because of the nature of who he is. you come into washington and want to play kumba ya politics.
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you look in the eyes of mitch mcconnell, jim demenint, and realize they are out to take you down. you need a plan be. there was no plan b. there was not a. it. -- there was not a pivot. he had extraordinary skills as a speaker during the campaign. he moved this country, millions of people. he angered millions and made them think he was a socialist and other matters. but he has not used those skills in a consistent, powerful way to tell a narrative about the challenges, what the country is going through, and where he is taking the country. by playing on the republican field of deficits and debts
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instead of joblessness or say we're all trying to compromise, you make people feel everyone is equally involved in a gridlock that has led to a point where congress has a lower popularity rating than the banks. that is a feat. 9%. it is dropping even though there are good people inside the congress. there is a progressive congress. they put out a people's budget. bernie sanders has exposed the fed giving out trillions of dollars in addition to the tarp bailout. >> barney frank has taken a hike. >> that is worth talking about. you see in this congress michele bachmann and michele bachmann one of these -- wannabe's.
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there are fights about redistricting. >> use of the one strength the president obama, his rhetorical skill, is not sufficient. >> it has not been used at the scale necessary in this time of crisis. america is in a crossroads. this is a moment comparable to coming out of the great depression. this was a moment coming out of the financial crisis when tectonic shifts are under way in this country. hope is not a policy. policy is a wonky word. hope needs a story, a narrative. here is what is going on in this country. president obama now is speaking more forcefully about what he
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wants to do it and against smoking out those who are obstructing. this is really wonky. anyway, i think one of the most exciting things are the movements of our times. i closed this book out before occupy. i wrote about wisconsin. our correspondent was there for 57 days. that was about occupying the state house. occupy has become a brand. it has also become e ncampments. soon it will need to be more than a space and a place. it will need to go to state houses, occupy banks, occupy congress. take the movement energy into those stairs -- spheres with the ideas matter of the heart of
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occupy. >> winter is coming. cities like san francisco and oakland and other cities are closing down the encampments and chasing people off. you can drive 90 miles from davis and pepper spray. it is hard to maintain people's attention for long periods of time. i am wondering -- should they be occupying the supreme court? [applause] >> i was talking about that today. with all respect for putting your body on the line which captivated the imagination in the beginning, it now needs to be less about states and place
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-- spaces and places and more about going to wear in justice -- injustice is. there are plans to occupy the supreme court from the second anniversary of the citizens united decision. that crazy decision has given the rights to corporations to unleash their treasuries into our already polluted political system. go there. go to your local congresspersons office. go to banks charging student loans up the highest rates. go to those places. i think we will see more of that. occupy congress means not only closing out the super committee. it also means finding movement candidates who will run in the electoral office.
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this is where people get ammocete -- antsy because they say you are taking over the energy of the occupy movement. we need good people to run. >> union unity of purpose if you are going to get anything done. my wife and i ran at an event for gloria steinem recently. -- you need unity of purpose if you are going to get anything done. they were chanting about the notion that the occupy movement is male-century. -- male-centric. they had a chance that that it t mean 99% men. you have people rending this
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garment of unity. >> you always find there are divisions. we have written about the fact that the camp in bloomington was run by women. the unity is around a core messages of the movement. the leadership of a movement drives people batty. where are the leaders? it is more of a leader-less movement and the new left was when you have a lot of gusy in power. it is not one place. there is a unity of issues. ending inequality, making people pay their fair share of taxes, finding a way out of the student debt slavery, finding ways to keep people in their homes,
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stopping the evictions, making sure that those who got us into the economic mess, the bankers and wall street, be held accountable -- and getting money out of our politics. [applause] >> one place you want to occupy for sure is the white house. goldman sachs, these guys are continuing to run economic policy. it is goldman sachs. i am sorry. they're all goldman sachs alums. the bill back to goldman sachs. they go back into government. -- they all go back to goldman sachs. they go back into government. it is a white house issued. >> this goes back to the media in a way. i will go back to goldman sachs if i must. remember in august when there were about 1200 people doing
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civil disobedience around the white house protesting the keystone pipeline. the corporate mainstream media was like this on that. imagine if 1200 tea party members hitched themselves to the date of the white house. when occupy launched in september in new york and then moved across the country, suddenly there was more attention being paid to other movements. it exposed how the media has done such a disservice to this country in the last few years by saying there was one movement in this country, the tea party. there are many other movements. the occupy wall street movement has brought into sharper relief and force the media to pay attention to other issues and movements.
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i could take off 10 or 15. -- tick off to enter 15. they've been toiling in the fields. now there is a space. i am not saying we will see movement into a new universe tomorrow. but there is a space now for new ideas and people who are more receptive. there's more receptivity to issues that were closed off. the media played a role in that. >> the media is not playing that helpful of a role, generally speaking. we defended the proposition of mainstream media in new york a couple of years ago. the reality is the attention span is quite short. >> that will be a problem. there is an interesting conflict. >> the nation is not un-
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mainstream media. it has been around for a long time. you say it is minority ideas pushing the nation. minority ideas get a hearing in "the nation." everybody has a blog. is there such a thing as a minority idea? >> minority idea comes from the fact that there are issues that do not get the attention they deserve. part of what "venation" tries to do is drive issues into a national conversation that are off the radar. we did a special issue 34 years ago called "the new inequality. -- we did a special issue three or four years ago called "the new inequality."
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i would like to publish agait again. there was a tough piece about ronald lauder's management strategy. the occupy movement is moving "the new york times) to cover issues like that. that is important. critical mindedness is also what "venation" is about -- "the nation" is about. >> what single thing has come of of the -- out of the huge wikileaks document